Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Drunken Parenting Constitutes Child Abuse

     I hate alcohol, I hate it more than anyone can even imagine. It has destroyed so many things in my life so I have no use for it in my life. Now that does not mean I think people who have a drink with a meal or even party on the weekend are bad people but it is not for me. This post is not about my hatred for alcohol though, it is about what is right regarding parents and children.

     Each state has a legal limit in which a person is able to drink and drive a motor vehicle. If a person exceeds that limit he or she is arrested, and if found guilty goes to jail. It is a crime to drink and drive period. So I wonder why it is not a crime to drink and parent?

     Don't get me wrong, if a parent has a glass of wine with dinner or a drink after work, and would be able to drive a vehicle then that person is capable of being in charge of a child.

     What got me to thinking of this actually was while I was at Disney California Adventure Park this summer I noticed parents drinking with their children right beside them. I wondered how that was ok but swatting them on the hand or bottom was child abuse. In my opinion, if you want to party, don't have kids or take your kids elsewhere while you party.

     This idea might be unpopular with many people but children are placed in our care and they depend on the adults to be coherent enough to care for them. If a person is drunk and the child gets hurt then that child might be in even more danger because the parent can't care for him. When people get drunk they lose their sense of right and wrong, or rather their sense of anything at all. They are not even capable of taking care of themselves so why on earth is it not child abuse or against the law for them to have a child in their care while they are drunk? At least one person in the care of the child should remain sober at all times!

     Of course yes there are laws in place that protect the children if they are injured or die while a parent is drunk but why should a child have to get hurt or die before they are protected?

     There are other dangers too, the parent might leave a beer bottle around or other alcohol that the child gets into and ingests. It does not take much alcohol to poison a child. I do not believe that an abundance of alcohol should be allowed in a home with children present.

     I was married to an alcoholic and he drank at home, I put up with it and I hated it. I did not know what to do. I had two young sons and could never leave them in their fathers care because he was rarely sober. One time I did leave them to visit my mom at the hospital only to come home and find my husband passed out, my 4 year old crying and the 2 year old fenced in the bedroom. I never left the kids alone with him again and as time went on I finally decided that I was not going to put them in that situation any longer.

     Thankfully I was always there and always watched to make sure my sons were not around his alcohol but looking back I should have told him it could not enter the house. Maybe that is harsh and maybe a glass of wine or beer once in a while might not hurt but well, is it worth it? Not for me.

     I finally left and put it in the parenting agreement that no alcohol could be around my boys. I know my ex did not always obey but as the kids got older I hoped they would call me if they felt unsafe. In time they stopped visiting their dad. I should have been stronger and removed all of his parenting rights though  and if my boys had told me he was drunk when they were there I would have. I did not learn until they no longer went that he was drunk most of the time.

     I am not sure how this type of thing could be monitored because
I know we don't want officials coming into our homes to check if we are being safe. The only thing I think that can be done is for other people to get involved. If you know a parent who drinks a lot and is drunk when their kids are there, let social services know. It is just as important as reporting a drunk driver.

+drunk +parents + children +safe